Going Real: The Value of Design in the Era of PostCapitalism

by Giovanni Innella (Advanced Institute of Industrial Technology, Japan), Marco Petroni

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In the age of post-capitalism, what is the value of design? Is value defined by economic potential? Or is it something far less tangible? Now more than ever design has the ability to engage us in economic, political and cultural debate, to actively resist the monotony of daily life, and to counteract the precarious situation on which modern society seems to rest. Positioning itself as a lens through which to view the world, design allows us, and in some cases, even forces us to reflect on the many aspects of the societies in which we live.
Divided into three chapters, GOING REAL positions itself in relation to the works of Marc Jongen, Maurizio Lazzarato, Adam Greenfield and Tiziana Terranova, among others. However, unlike the abovementioned authors, this book draws on the works of selected designers and artists to reflect on the economic, political and cultural aspects of our post-capitalist societies. Beginning with an in-depth case study of Detroit during the downfall of the industrial era, this volume moves on to a timely and provocative insight into the human crises surrounding current migration trends with a particular focus on Calais. Finally, in the third chapter, the human body itself is laid bare as the authors analyse how and why the most personal of ‘spaces’ became not only the ultimate marketplace for businesses but also an object of control for governments.

Foreword by Craig Bremner

The Future… Really
The Really Future
The Future Reality
The Future Future and/or The Real Real
The Future Real
The Real Future


Chapter 1 Going There
Towards a definition of value
Towards a Phenomenology of Value
The Value of Community
A Conversation with Anya Sirota/Akoaki

Chapter 2 Going With
The Exception of Value
The Suspension of Value
The Formation of Value

Chapter 3 Going In
Towards a Biopolitics of Value
The Life Fair: Welcome to Post-Contemporaneity
Is Design Everywhere?

Afterword by Angela Rui

About the Authors

List of References


Marco Petroni is a design theorist and critic. He works as Adjunct Professor at Politecnico, Milan, and at the Università della Campania, Naples. Besides collaborating with several art, architecture and design magazines such as Domus web, FlashArt and Artribune, he is also a curator at the Plart Foundation, Naples. Having studied contemporary art and architecture, Petroni develops innovative curatorial projects and events related to design with a transdisciplinary approach.

Giovanni Innella, PhD, studied Industrial Design at the Politecnico of Torino, Conceptual Design at the Design Academy Eindhoven, and obtained a PhD in Design Critique from Northumbria University. During his career, Giovanni has exhibited at the International Design Biennale of Saint-Etienne, the Fuorisalone, Milan, and the National Museum of the XXI Century Arts, Rome, among other venues. Notably, his work is part of the permanent collection of the Stedelijk Museum of ‘s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands, and has been published in international design magazines. Currently, Innella is a practicing designer, an Assistant Professor at the Advanced Institute of Industrial Technology in Tokyo and a Visiting Artist at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago.

Craig Bremner is a Professor of Design at Charles Sturt University, Australia. For some time he was a Professor of Design at the University of Southern Denmark. Prior to this joint position he was Professor in Design Pedagogy at Northumbria University UK, and Professor of Design at the University of Canberra, where he was also Dean of the Faculty of Design & Architecture. He is a Director of both the Ecology of Care Network (a UK Community Interest Company) and a design consultancy in France. He is a signatory to the Lancaster Care Charter (2017) and his most recent publication, co-authored with Paul A. Rodgers, is DESIGN SCHOOL: after boundaries and disciplines (Vernon Press 2019).

Angela Rui is an Italian curator and researcher based between Milan and Rotterdam. She recently co-curated I See That I See What You Don't See - the Dutch Pavilion at the XXII Triennale di Milano (2019), as well as the 25th Design Biennial of Ljubljana (2017) and the accompanying book, both titled Faraway, So Close. Previously, she curated the 2015 edition of Operae, the independent design festival based in Turin (Italy), and the exhibition and catalogue Ugo la Pietra. Disequilibrating Design (2014) for the Triennale Design Museum in Milan. She has been design editor for Abitare magazine (2011-2013) and curated the editorial project of Icon Design magazine (2015-2017). Until 2016 she taught at the School of Design of the Politecnico di Milano and at the Master of Interior Design program at the Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti in Milan. She currently teaches at the Social Design Master of the Design Academy Eindhoven.

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Bibliographic Information

Book Title

Going Real: The Value of Design in the Era of PostCapitalism





Number of pages


Physical size

236mm x 160mm


12 Color

Publication date

October 2019